Police Scotland is asking employers to consider providing paid leave to members of staff who volunteer as Special Constables to allow them to support the national effort to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The service faces unprecedented challenges to maintain policing while managing rising levels of sickness and self-isolation among officers and staff.
Special Constables are warranted officers with all the powers of regular police officers who volunteer their services. They are deployed in local communities to support daily operations and provide resilience at critical times.
Police Scotland is appealing to Special Constables to increase their volunteering hours wherever possible and to ask employers to consider paid leave to allow staff to support Local Policing over the coming 12 weeks.
Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said
This is an extraordinary moment and one that requires a collective response. It is a moment when the ethos of the Special Constabulary – supporting Scottish communities and local policing – has never been more relevant.
The coronavirus pandemic is presenting an unprecedented and dynamic set of challenges and, to support health professionals and maximise public safety, the policing response is crucial.
The coming weeks and months will be demanding and there will be significant additional duties that we are required to discharge during this critical period. To support our overall response, we would like to include our valued Special Constables in our resourcing plans.
We have written to all our volunteers and their employers seeking support to provide additional volunteering hours over the coming 12 weeks, however I should stress there is no requirement being placed on anyone.